Red Cross boost for Chivi folk

Masvingo Bureau
Over 100 000 villagers in Chivi have received a major boost after the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society constructed 4 000 latrines and boreholes to improve access to water and hygienic facilities. The boreholes and latrines were built under a four-year project code-named Chivi, Sanitation and Hygiene Project (Chiwash) by the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society.

The European Union together with the British and Finnish Red Cross societies funded the project. About 3 410 latrines were constructed across Chivi district together with 53 new boreholes, while a further 318 malfunctioning ones were rehabilitated. Speaking at the official handover of the Chiwash project at Maringire Business Centre in Chivi on Wednesday last week, Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa, paid tribute to the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and its partners for helping to mitigate water shortages in the district.

In a speech read on her behalf by Masvingo deputy provincial administrator Mr Gorden Chikovo, Sen Mahofa said access to reliable water supply and sanitary facilities were some of Zim-Asset’s targets.

She appealed to other development partners to extend similar water and sanitation programmes to other impoverished districts in Masvingo province. “A total of 100 000 people in Chivi district will benefit from this Chiwash project and I am happy that the project targeted particularly vulnerable groups in our society such as those living with HIV and Aids, orphans the elderly among others,’’ she said.

“This Chivi water and sanitation project comes on the backdrop of previous many such successful interventions that have improved the water and sanitation levels in many provinces across Zimbabwe in fulfilment of Millennium Development Goals,’’ she added. Sen Mahofa singled out the humanitarian organisation and its partners for playing a key role in managing the humanitarian disaster precipitated by flooding in the Tokwe-Mukosi basin in Chivi early last year.

The floods displaced over 3 000 families that were later accommodated at Chingwizi camp in Mwenezi. Besides construction of latrines, drilling and rehabilitation of boreholes under the four-year Chiwash project, over 250 school health masters were also trained together with 200 latrine builders and nearly 400 water-point committees across the district.

Scores of villagers who successfully completed first aid courses with assistance from the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society were presented with certificates by the organisation’s goodwill ambassador and popular sungura artiste Alick Macheso.